Alex Smith was booed so many times on his home field at Candlestick Park, he has no idea how he might be received by the old fans when he runs out with the Kansas City Chiefs to face the 49ers today.
The 2005 No. 1 overall pick, Smith has clearly moved on from his tumultuous tenure with the Niners. Now comfortable and confident in his new job, he's fresh off last month's contract extension that could keep him in Kansas City through 2018.
“You learn how fragile this thing is,” Smith said. “This is a 'What have you done for me lately?' business and you've got to go out every single week and prove it. That's the deal. I've played long enough to know that.”
He certainly hopes the Chiefs (2-2) can build off a commanding 41-14 victory against the Patriots on Monday night that snapped a four-game losing streak at Arrowhead Stadium.
Smith hasn't spoken to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in some time and trades text messages on occasion with Colin Kaepernick, the man who replaced him under center for San Francisco in November 2012.
“There's also a bunch of new faces and a new stadium that I've never been to,” Smith said. “Definitely going against some of those guys I played with for quite a while is kind of funny.”
Tight end Vernon Davis, among so many others still around, long supported Smith.
“I love Alex,” Davis said. “We did a lot of great things together. I'm extremely thankful for the time that he was here. But he's moved on. He's doing well. He's playing good football at the moment. I wish him the best.”
Coach Andy Reid knows a thing or two about potential distractions, having gone back to Philadelphia to face the Eagles in his first season as Chiefs coach last year. Reid isn't concerned about Smith's focus when he makes his first appearance at Levi's Stadium.
“He's been around a while. He knows that you just got to go through the process and play a game,” Reid said. “The emotions, all that stuff, doesn't necessarily help you.”
NEXT GAME: 49ers vs. Chiefs
When: Today, 1:25 p.m. Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara TV: KPIX (Ch. 5) Radio: KGO (810 AM)